I have spoken previously about the power of the mother in setting the tone in the home. Today, I glimpsed the wonders that occur when I am involved and supportive but not outright directing the action. I am not always able to maintain this balance. There are times, I will admit, that a spill caused by momentary distraction will illicit a harsh look or word from me. There are days when a disagreement between siblings is not handled with the loving detachment necessary to facilitate learning. Today was NOT one of those days. Today was a day of exploration, a day of calm contentment.
Our adventures began with a visit to the library. We found lots of great books and said hi to all of the librarians. I was just finishing signing out our books when my Ezzy discovered another little boy, just his size!
Well, he went right up to him, and I mean RIGHT up to him, and they gave each other a hug. My son said “hi” and waved at the other boy. After staring at each other for awhile, too excited for words (who are we kidding, neither of them knows how to speak!), they turned to look at the display case next to them. Ezzy pointed and said “ba.” The other mommy said, “that’s right, it’s a car.” Immediately, her son, Ozzy, pointed and declared “car.”
Ozzy and his mom moved off; Ezzy followed them. When they got close to the stuffed animals and dolls Ezzy had been playing with earlier, Ezzy ran to show Ozzy. They had a grand time, until Ezzy brought out the baby doll. Ozzy didn’t notice until Ezzy showed it to Ozzy’s mom. Ozzy wanted a turn to hold the doll. Ezzy didn’t think that was such a good idea.
“Okay, Ezzy, it’s time to go home now.” I said. Ezzy looked at me. “Say bye to the baby.” Another look. “Say bye to Ozzy.” A look and a wave for Ozzy – two steps towards me. “Bye Ozzy.” An uncertain, you-tricked-me kind of a look. I scooped Ezzy up, waved good bye to Ozzy and his mom and we were off.
Back at home, Ezzy discovered the joys of the stool. His favourite move today was to push the stool up to the counter and see what he could grab.
As I was preparing the vegetables for the soup, he found the tray of eggs. I buy eggs in trays of 30. Luckily, there were only about six in the tray he found. From his perch on the stool, Ezzy reached for an egg, held it close and reached out for another. Armed, so to speak, he stepped down from the stool to examine his find. Being a boy, and a one year old, he started to knock one egg on the side of the stool. He pushed his thumb inside. Lovely goo oozed out. He broke the shell. More goo.
Being the highly intelligent child that he is, Ezzy kept quiet as he went back for more eggs. Before long, he had a four egg puddle on the floor. I guess this was enough. Now that he had what he needed, he no longer kept his rapture to himself. He touched, he swirled, he splashed. Soon, egg was flying across the floor. He was covered, and he was happy.
In both of these adventures, Ezzy explored his surroundings and made use of some pretty wonderful learning opportunities. And I let him! Why was it so easy for me to support him today? Maybe it is because he is so little and sweet. Maybe it is because it is Monday and I am feeling like I have the whole week in front of me. It is always easier to do what is right when there are no external or internal pressures. I constantly work at patience in times of stress, but for now, I am satisfied with this beautiful day. I have the taste of success in my mouth and hope that this feeling will come back to me next time I snap at one of the kids just because I am tired – or it is erev Shabbat :).